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The 25th JEONJU International Film Festival Announces the Selections for Korean Competition for Shorts and Local Cinema
2024-03-20 00:00:00Hits 563

The 25th JEONJU International Film Festival Announces the Selections for Korean Competition for Shorts and Local Cinema

- Korean Competition for Shorts: 19 features, 1 documentary, 3 experimental films, and 2 animations.

- The trend in this year’s Korean Competition for Shorts entries was “an attempt to awaken and jolt the calcified structure with a qualitative shift.”

- 5 titles were selected for Local Cinema including horror, high-teen, drama, and more genres.

The JEONJU International Film Festival (JEONJU IFF, Festival Co-Director MIN Sungwook and JUNG Junho) announced the selections for Korean Competition for Shorts and Local Cinema.

The selections for Korean Competition for Shorts

The 25th JEONJU IFF called for entries in Korean Competition for Shorts from November 2023 to January 2024. From 1,332 entries submitted this year, 25 films were selected to compete in the section.

The judges were Kim Byeonggyu, film critic and co-director of the walk (2023), which screened in the Korean Competition for Shorts at the 24th JEONJU IFF; Keem Youngle, director of Searching for Seahorses (2016), and Blue Land (2020), which screened at the 23rd JEONJU IFF; Kim Hyunjung, director of Ghost Play (2023), winner of the Director's Award in Korean Competition for Shorts at the 24th JEONJU IFF; Shin Dongmin, director of From You (2023), winner of the Grand Prize in Korean Competition at the 24th JEONJU IFF; film critic Lee Bora; 『Cine21』 reporter Cho Hyun-na; and JEONJU IFF programmer Moon Seok.

The jury’s commentary began with a remark that short film creators have found a great amount of vitality after undergoing even more limitations in the form of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent challenges faced by cinemas. The jury emphasized the impressions created by this year’s shorts with the keywords: Healing, Transformation, and Faith.

The judges supported projects that “intertwined each filmmaker’s trust in the projects with a precise structure or format, which led to a sophisticated and specific physicality on screen and boasted continued tension that lasted until the last scene.”

“Within a world where there are so many films created outside the industry properly, along with the normalization of video production for various web platforms, the judges did their best to discover signs that hinted at creative practices within short films screened in cinemas as well as new potential avenues film culture could spread into. We hope that even more audience members will share in the rumination and discoveries held by the 25 films selected for the Korean Competition for Shorts section.”

The selections for Local Cinema

Meanwhile, the Local Cinema section, which is open to filmmakers and producers based in Jeollabuk-do or enrolled in a school in Jeollabuk-do, or whose films were shot on location in Jeollabuk-do for more than 50 percent of the running time. The JEONJU IFF received 47 submissions and announced 5 selections.

Kim Kyumin’s Family Tree, Oh Jaewook’s Unspoken, Jang Jae-woo’s Vortex, Kim Sora’s Someday, Park Chaeeun’s With the Memories. Of these, Unspoken has been selected to compete in the Korean Competition for Shorts, while the other four will be screened in the Korean Cinema section.

The jury for Local Cinema included Lee Haneul, the CEO of Noname Cinema, a prolific director Choi Jinyoung (The Slug, Bancha, and Yeonhui-dong), and JEONJU IFF’s Program Team(Korean) Manager, Choi Jina.

The jury remarked “Rather than sharp criticism and selectivity, [the jury] strived to judge the submissions with the spirit of rooting for local creatives with a love for local cinema. We thank to all directors and production staff who submitted their films for Local Cinema.”

* Commentary on the Entries for Korean Competition for Shorts

The act of creating films stems from the urge to present problems in the form of footage that combines images and sounds by borrowing a certain method of expression. However, films cannot come to fruition with freedom-filled creativity alone. Directors hit an uncontrollable wall as they reach the filming and editing stages. This is because films are not a type of art that is created by self-determined execution. Rather, they are a medium in which the other and the uncertainty of the world come together. As such, creativity in film production arises through the process of negotiating the clash between a creator’s will and the physical limitations imposed upon them. Short films, which face countless restrictions in time, money, and technology, have functioned as a way to explore new cinematic expressions with such restrictions as an essential feature.

For the 25th edition of the JEONJU International Film Festival (JEONJU IFF), a new record of 1,332 short films was submitted for the Korean Competition for Shorts. It seems short film creators have found a great amount of vitality after undergoing even more limitations in the form of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent challenges faced by cinemas. Instead of film schools that homogenize individuals to the point of obscuring individuality or finished films that conform to the compromising system consisting of short film distributors and film festivals, what is needed is an attempt to awaken and jolt the calcified structure with a qualitative shift. In an age when the question “What can films do?” rings louder than before, the six judges focused on films that established a fundamental agenda around film creation and attempted to respond in their unique way instead of fixating on easily categorizable, surface-level subject matter or stories.

Though it may be easy to make superficial errors when categorizing films that have been produced with different conditions and environments based on specific tendencies, some vague impressions can still be drawn based on several signs. The first impression is that of healing. Most submissions that are speculated to be created after the pandemic portray similar sensibilities, such as a yearning to go back to the good ol’ times or a longing related to childhood memories or places. Scars left by epidemics are bound to lead communities toward more comfortable sentiments. However, we believe in Jean Renoir’s advice that “…we must try to escape from the spell of memories. Our salvation lies in plunging resolutely into the hell of the new world”. We are drawn toward efforts that recognize the world we live in has changed and respond to our changed lives in a sensitive way. The judges welcomed films that carved out the textures of lives turned upside down with moments such as a friend or family member’s death, dislocation from disaster or accident, shifts in romantic relationships, and changes in one’s own body as films of true healing.

The second impression was that of transformation. Most films featured women, queer people, disabled people, children, and animals this year as well. However, they didn’t stop at simply depicting the environment such societal minorities face but made a notable attempt to make use of layered structures and storytelling devices to solidify what such people face within the world of film. The sensibilities and perspectives held by minorities have an effect on transforming the normal order of the world that pre-existing films tended to adhere to. The transformation of film media’s physical nature itself was also a sign that was found in experimental cinema and animation. Films that change the angle of the visible world, transform sound, and reconstitute their skin and body to create novel cinematic identities remind us that one film can provide us with several layers of perspectives to take in the world.

Considering the two contexts mentioned above, the selected short films are in a healing stage or undergoing transformation. An extension of such films brings the third impression: that of trust. When the world turns unfamiliar right in front of our eyes, will we still be able to believe in this strange world and films? In terms of both structure and narrative, today’s short films need to convey, enact, practice, and fix problems, the core of which perhaps falls in the category of trust. The judges supported projects that intertwined each filmmaker’s trust in the projects with a precise structure or format, which led to a sophisticated and specific physicality on screen and boasted continued tension that lasted until the last scene.

Within a world where there are so many films created outside the industry properly, along with the normalization of video production for various web platforms, the judges did their best to discover signs that hinted at creative practices within short films screened in cinemas as well as new potential avenues film culture could spread into. We hope that even more audience members will share in the rumination and discoveries held by the 25 films selected for the Korean Competition for Shorts section. We send a heartfelt thank you to all who submitted their precious film for our consideration.

Preliminary Jury for the Korean Competition for Shorts

KIM Byeonggyu, KEEM Youngle, KIM Hyunjung, SHIN Dongmin, LEE Bora, CHO Hyun-na, MOON Seok

* Commentary on the Entries for Local Cinema

6 feature films and 41 short films were submitted to the 25th edition of the JEONJU IFF for the Local Cinema section. This was not a small number of submissions for Local Cinema, and the quality of these submissions was not lacking either. Notably, documentary and animated films were also submitted along with fiction films. The evaluation process proved to be a time spent enjoying the skills of local creators through their varied subject matters, perspectives, and structures.

We made sure to take our time when reviewing each piece, in consideration of the hard work that went into creating each film. We hope to see local creatives finding the courage to submit even more diverse films in the coming years.

The five films selected for Local Cinema this year are Kim Kyumin’s Family Tree, Kim Sora’s Someday, Park Chaeeun’s With the Memory, Oh Jaewook’s Unspoken, and Jang Jae-woo’s Vortex. Among these, Oh Jaewook’s Unspoken was selected compete in the Korean Competition for Shorts section, and the rest will screen in the Korean Cinema section. Sadly, none of the Local Cinema feature film submissions were selected to screen at the JEONJU IFF this year.

Oh Jaewook has come to the JEONJU IFF once again this year with a film that shows even more growth since his last year’s Korea Cinema section film, Bubble (2023); With sensitive directing, he patiently built the process of deepening human relationships toward a notable finale in his newest film Unspoken, which inspired the jury’s unanimous choice to select it as part of the official selection. His use of various angles to create rich compositions was also highly praised. With beautiful mise-en-scène and storytelling that overlaps the past with the present, Kim Kyumin’s Family Tree was lauded for its outstanding form and refreshing way of expressing genealogy through montages. Kim Sora’s Someday excelled in building emotions with a composed tone instead of forcing grief from a family bereavement. The portrayal of the main character facing a loss along with exploring their dead grandfather’s space contributed toward the flow of Park Chaeeun’s With the Memory, leading to comments that noted how the subject and form melded together easily. The genre-based directorial style that expressed strangeness and ominous, as well as the production and sound design that supported this vision, stood out in Jang Jae-woo’s Vortex. Along with his previous film, NANI GA MIEH RU!, Vortex solidified interest in what Jang Jae-woo’s next project might be.

The jury for Local Cinema included prolific director Choi Jinyoung (The Slug, Bancha, and Yeonhui-dong) and JEONJU IFF’s Program Team(Korean) Manager, Choi Jina. Rather than sharp criticism and selectivity, the two strived to judge the submissions with the spirit of rooting for local creatives with a love for local cinema. We thank the warmth of both juries and film programmer Moon Seok, and a heartfelt thank you again to all directors and production staff who submitted their films for Local Cinema.

The preliminary juries of Local Cinema​

LEE Haneul, CHOI Jinyoung, CHOI Jina

Official Korean Competition for Shorts Selection (25 titles, Korean alphabetical order)

Title

Director

1

Allergic to

KWON Sumin

2

Walk In

PARK Han-eol

3

Spoken Word

KWAK Hyo-in

4

Guidance by Dokkaebi Fire

Justin Jinsoo KIM

5

Unspoken

OH Jaewook

6

Dambi wants to get married

KANG Youngjin

7

Twilight

PARK Syeyoung

8

In The Clouds

SHIN Seokho

9

Chamber of Light

KU Bom

10

The Revival Farm

NOH Minsang

11

Significant findings about separation and some subsequent anxieties

JEON Chanwoo

12

Grade Apeals

KIM Geon

13

Recite With Your Hands

JO Won-yong

14

The glasses

SHIM Gyuwon

15

the Dwarf Planet

LEE Hocheol

16

Dad’s Beddy

LEE Yujin

17

Farewell

GONG Seonjeong

18

Missing child

HAN Hye-hyun

19

Blow a Candle, Make a wish

LEE Da-young

20

We used to Dance.

KIM Jee-hong

21

Chicken man

KIM Hyunbin

22

Track_ing

LEE Chanyeol, CHO Hanna, Samgar Rakym, Ali Tynybekov

23

Our Graduation

YANG Sunmin

24

A Sucker Punch

KIM Junhyung

25

Hansel: Two School Skirts

LIM Jisun

Official Local Cinema Selection (5 titles, Korean alphabetical order)

Title

Director

1

Family Tree

KIM Kyumin

2

Unspoken

OH Jaewook

3

Vortex

JANG Jae-woo

4

Someday

KIM Sora

5

With the Memories

PARK Chaeeun

Jeonju Office

(54999) 2F, JEONJU Cine Complex, 22, Jeonjugaeksa 3-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeonbuk-do, Republic of Korea T. +82 (0)63 288 5433 F. +82 (0)63 288 5411

Seoul Office

(04031) 4F, 16, Yanghwa-ro 15-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea T. +82 (0)2 2285 0562 F. +82 (0)2 2285 0560

JEONJU Cine Complex

(54999) JEONJU Cine Complex, 22, Jeonjugaeksa 3-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeonbuk-do, Republic of Korea T. +82 (0)63 231 3377